Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

Bulldogs admit to tension between senior footy department figures


The Western Bulldogs have admitted tension had existed between their coach and head of footy, but state any suggestion of a blowup is “grossly exaggerated”.

That’s the word from CEO Ameet Bains on SEN’s Whateley, who was asked about the relationship between Luke Beveridge and Chris Grant.

Beveridge, the 2016 premiership coach, had faced reports he’d fallen out with his footy boss through much of 2023. Grant is then believed to have played an influential role in assistant coach Rohan Smith being let go late last season, with Beveridge reportedly frustrated by that decision.

SEN Chief Sports Reporter Sam Edmund said last week: “There’s been some friction there for some time”.

AFL-Record-Banner-2024 728x90px

AFLTipping24 728x90

The situation was further complicated over the off-season, with Matthew Egan poached from Geelong and quickly elevated to general manager of footy operations.

It was a result of the Bulldogs’ review into operations over recent months after underperforming and missing the finals in 2023. When asked if Egan’s new position was to create a buffer between Beveridge and Grant, Bains suggested it was in a functional sense, but not to keep Beveridge and Grant from communicating.

But when asked if tension exists between the two, Bains was more forthcoming.

“There has been in many quarters I think just generally within the previous department going back to the… uncertainty. I was on record a couple of weeks ago dismissing some of the suggestions about there being a blow-up and a breakdown and things like that, I think that’s grossly exaggerated…” Bains said.

“It’s fair to say that was last year and coming back into the new year… it’s been incredibly positive. I had the privilege of being on our training camp in Mooloolaba for eight or nine days and I saw a really different program with just the excitement, the energy, the enthusiasm and the process that we’ve gone through – albeit it has been quite protracted and has involved two stages – has actually allowed for a lot of the people who have been at our club to almost have a cathartic experience talking about it and getting it off their chest with a view to then seeing what changes come from that.

“Then just really looking forward and having confidence in each and everyone around them.”

Bains also acknowledged it had been a delicate process for Beveridge and even suggested the senior coach was anxious about the process.

“I think it’s been delicate with everyone and particularly in that phase last year when there was a lot of change and uncertainty, it’s human nature to be really anxious about what’s coming next,” Bains explained.

Prior to the review commencing the Bulldogs had backed in Beveridge as their man, stating their desire to put more support around him.

Beveridge has never led the Bulldogs to a top four finish, but his side has twice made the Grand Final under his guidance.

He became a club hero when snapping a 62-year premiership drought in 2016 and continued to transform the club’s culture and playing list in the years following.

Western Bulldogs

More in AFL